Planning to Get All the Things You Need. - When one has a limited amount of money to spend, one must plan not to spend too much for any one thing. This is illustrated by the following incident. A girl who needed a new hat, a new dress and a new pair of shoes for her spring outfit, started out to make these purchases. She had $25 to spend for these purchases and since it was more than she had ever had before, it seemed as though she had plenty of money for everything she wished to get. First, she went to look at hats and soon found one that was becoming and that she liked very much. She inquired the price and was told that it was $10.50. Although she had never spent so much for a hat, it seemed as though she had plenty of money and so she bought the hat without hesitation. Next she went to buy her dress and found one that was exactly right to go with her hat. The dress cost $12.50, and although she realized that this would take most of her money she could not resist buying the dress. It was so attractive and exactly what she needed. After she had bought the dress she had only $2.50 left. It was not possible for her to buy a pair of shoes for this amount, so she was forced to wear her old shoes with the new dress and hat.
To Discuss with Your Class. - Do you think this girl did her shopping wisely? What do you suggest she might have done to avoid making such a mistake? Do you think it would be helpful to apportion the money for your whole wardrobe each year? Some people who do this find it helpful in getting the most for their money. Do you know anyone who follows this plan?
Conspicuous Clothing. - Read the following story and see if you can make another rule that helps one to make good selections when buying clothing.
The girl in this story went to town one day with her mother to get a new coat. At one store they found two coats that were reasonable in price and that fitted very well. One coat was a pretty, soft blue, the other was a brightly colored plaid. Her mother thought that it would be better to buy the blue coat because it was less conspicuous and one would not tire of it so quickly. However, the girl insisted on having the plaid coat because plaids were stylish that season. At first she was delighted with the coat but after a few months she began to tire of it. She wished the plaid were not so conspicuous and wondered if, after all, the plain, blue coat would have been more satisfactory. She also thought that if the plaids had not been so brightly colored she might have continued to like the plaid coat. When the next winter came and she realized that she would have to wear the coat for another whole season, she wished more than ever that she had bought a less striking coat.
To Discuss with Your Class. - After reading this story what rule can you make that will help you to buy your clothes more wisely? When is it justifiable to buy conspicuous things? Have you ever had anything conspicuous and wished you did not have to wear it so long?
Planning Your Clothing So It Harmonizes. - Do you have anything in your wardrobe, for example, a hat, a pair of shoes or a dress, that does not seem to fit in with the rest of your clothing? It sometimes happens that a hat is not the right color to blend with the coat or dress. Did you ever see anyone wear clothing that did not harmonize in color? Unless one first plans a general color scheme, it is easy to make the mistake of getting things that do not go together well. Each thing may be attractive in color but when the colors are put together they make a bad combination. For example, if you should buy a red felt hat because it was becoming and you liked the color and shape, you might find that it did not harmonize with any of your dresses or your coat.
To Discuss with Your Class. - Do you see why it will be wise to plan a general color scheme before buying your clothes?
Even though the red hat was greatly reduced in price do you consider it was a "good buy?" Considering what you now have in your wardrobe, if you wished to buy a new hat, what color would be best to choose?
Clothing That Requires Constant Cleaning Is Expensive. - Perhaps you have heard someone say, "It is not the original cost, it is the upkeep that is expensive." Do you see how this can be applied to clothing? The girl who bought a white felt hat because it was cheap, found that in the long run it was expensive, because it required frequent cleaning. She bought the white hat because it was cheaper than the tan hat and she wished to save money. But when she added the amount of money she spent in having the white hat cleaned to its original cost, she found that it had cost more than the tan hat would have cost.
To Discuss with the Class. - Can you give other examples of clothing that has proved expensive because it required so much cleaning? Can you give another example of how a cheap garment turned out to be an expensive one? Do you think that even though you can do your own cleaning, it is wise to buy clothing that requires constant cleaning?
What Have You Learned That Will Help You to Select Your Clothing? - When you have read this far in this chapter, make a list of five points that you should consider in the selection of clothing so as to get the best value for your money. In other chapters in this book you have learned things that should also help you to get the best value for your money. For example, one thing you have learned is how to make some garments and you have found that it is sometimes cheaper to make garments than to buy them ready-made. Add four other things to your list that you have learned about clothing which help you to get the best clothing for the amount of money you have to spend. If you do not recall four things to add to your list, look in Chapters VI and VII. Altogether you will have a list of ten things that will help you in your purchase of clothing.
How to Get Better Value from Your Clothing. - Buying new clothing is only half the story in making the amount of money that you have for the clothing budget go as far as possible. If you have practiced good methods of laundering, removing spots, pressing and storing clothing, you will find that your clothing will give you better service and not require the purchase of new clothing so often. Can you add any other things which will increase the length of service which your clothing gives?